Friday, 31 October 2014

Staying Pure In A Wicked World

Since it's Halloween, I thought it was fitting to post this today. We see Christians celebrating it. For some people, it's just a day, a fun day. Then they encourage their children to dress up in different outfits, witches, wizards etc. They entertain it. Should Christians entertain it? It made me question, is it possible for we, as Christians, to stay holy and pure in a world that's turning more and more wicked? A world that's accepting to practices that were considered immoral a long time ago? Is it possible? In a world that has become filled with murder, immorality and corruption?

When I ask those questions, I am reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah. In case you don't know...maybe you do, but for those who don't...Sodom and Gomorrah were two Cities that God destroyed due to the sin that was very grievous. So, you may be thinking, 'I thought God was a merciful God, why would He do that?'. Well, it seems to me that these two Cities were so grievous, so evil, that the people's hearts grew cold. It was filled with...well, probably what we see in the world today. Nobody in the City was righteous...except Lot and his family. It was SO bad that...when the Angels of the Lord came to get Lot and spent the night at his house, ALL the men from EVERY PART OF THE CITY OF SODOM, both YOUNG AND OLD surrounded Lot's house, demanding to have sex with the Angels. Do you see how wicked it was? Sodom was filled with drunkards, adultery, sex and murder. Do you ever wonder what made their hearts grow cold against God? I can imagine they did not even want to hear the Word of God. They did not want to be corrected for their wrongdoings. They had no fear of God in them. So, people KNOW the truth behind Halloween? A holiday that promotes FEAR. Didn't GOD Himself tell us that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound MIND? So, if Halloween promotes fear...then why do we indulge in it? We shouldn't be afraid of the devil...we have power over him.

In this day and age, do you ever wonder if you're the same? If you're accepting the practices of the world. I can imagine if Lot and his family had accepted those practices, they would not have been saved. How did they stay away from those practices? How did their hearts stay pure, their thoughts and actions? Isn't that hard to do when everything around you encourages you to do JUST the opposite? Nonetheless, in Phillipians 4:8, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should focus on 'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God is peace will be with you.' 
Again, is Halloween right, is it pure, is it lovely, is it admirable? Does God praise Halloween? Did you see the Prophets celebrating Halloween? People need to read on things before partaking in them.

So, from this story, the one of Sodom and Gomorrah, I can see that it IS possible to stay pure in a wicked world, a wicked generation. It must be if Jesus commanded us to do so. It sounds easy, doesn't it? I remember when reading this story of Sodom and Gomorrah, thinking...I would not follow the crowd, I would be saved like Lot. I was so confident. But now...I'm thinking, oh, it's so easy to fall. It's easy to fall when you're surrounded by things such as magazines, promoting sex, fornication and discontentment. Magazines promoting greed and pride. TV shows that promote lust, profanity, nudity and violence. Adultery, which just makes it hard to trust your spouse. Gossip, which is glorified (...I watch The Wendy Williams Show, so I know), sexual promiscuity among other things. I've just recently started watching this Talk Show called 'The Real' with Adrienne Bailon, Tamar Braxon, Tamera Mowry, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai. Loni, who I love and I think she's hilarious, constantly talks about her affairs with men, her love for sex and how she loves alcohol. I find myself laughing and clapping then end up stopping myself thinking, 'Wow, did I just laugh at that? What would Jesus do?'. Not just that, she constantly berates and makes fun of Tamera for her faith. If not, it sure looks like it. So, TV is just junk nowadays, hence why I do not watch it as often.

So, listening to this sermon (which I will post down below) made me think and ask myself, 'Am I compromising my moral values for this world? Am I developing a thirst for the world? I remember watching 'The Truth Behind Hip Hop' by G Craige Lewis and his ministry called 'EX Ministries'. I was so convicted after that, I threw away all my Hip Hop CDs, all my music of Beyonce, Jay Z, Rihanna (that's not to say I have fallen a few times and listened to them again), but the whole point is, I did it. I learnt that music has drastically changed over the years. You do not have to be a Christian to know that. It has become more sexual, sensual, dark and demonic. I feel so guilty for listening to it sometimes that at some point, I stopped completely. Nonetheless, I think we have grown lukewarm and just blind to our spiritual condition. People say 'It's just music, there's nothing there.' Or, 'They are just words and I like the beat...there's nothing to it'.
With regards to Halloween, what makes Christians compromise their beliefs to celebrate it? When it has a history of sorcery, witchcraft, evil, demons...why are we okay with it? The Bible sets a foundation as to what we should NOT do. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - 'Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive our these names before you.'

So, what corrupts us? Why are we spiritually dry and empty? Why do we all say it's so hard to be a Christian, it's hard to stay pure? How did Noah stay pure when he lived in such an evil generation? Noah's generation was so bad that the Bible says that EVERY INCLINATION OF THE THOUGHT OF THEIR HUMAN HEART WAS EVIL...ALL the TIME. All they did was think about evil. Do you ever feel surrounded by opportunities to do the wrong thing? For example, having friends that want you to join in their gossip? Or teachers tell you that you should live in reality and the Bible is just a bunch of stories? Noah was surrounded by evil but the Bible says he walked righteously and faithfully with God.

It seems like a wicked generation has always been there. Even in Hosea's generation and you can read about it here (Hosea). But, in Hosea 7-9, Hosea tells his generation, 'You have forgotten God. You claim to know Him yet you fail to consult Him. You are so busy pursuing things of this life but you have become empty. You do not bear any fruit...'

Even the Prophet Isaiah cried out against his generation - Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah cried out, 'Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.'

In the New Testament, Peter cried out against HIS generation soon after Jesus was crucified. 2 Peter 2:14-15, "With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning, they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed - an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.'

So, THEN and even more so, NOW, people had forsaken God and rebelled. I talked about the consequences of that in 'A Hard Heart' post. All these sins - drunkenness, harlots, murders, divorce, fornication...yet God always had people that stayed pure, who stayed on the path of purity. They continued in God's presence with pure hearts. They rejected the world and all it's pleasures.

What about OUR generation? We have become vile and wicked because we have lost the fear of GOD. There is no fear of God in US. In Proverbs 16:6, it says that 'By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.' We have lost the fear of God.

In Psalm 36, David says, 'I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before their eyes.' The fear of God comes by making a CONSCIOUS decision to follow God. It begins by reading the Word of God and hearing it. If this is how we get faith, and the Word is neglected,  then we have no faith.

We cannot blame the devil, movies, alcohol, computers, pornography, we can only blame ourselves and our lack of prayer and bible study. We are ignorant of how God works. We all know we should pray but we just don't. We have time for a lot of things, time to watch TV, time to hang out with friends, time to chill, time to be lazy...but we do not find time to pray.

The Word of God cannot change you if you are not praying. The World can change you if your Spirit is cold or lukewarm and your soul is dry and empty. If you heart is fixed on the Lord, on prayer and praise, nothing can touch you. No demons from HELL can influence you. No ungodly CROWD can draw you from Him.

God wants us to become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation...and we do that by holding FIRMLY to the Word of Life. Phillipians 2:14.

1 Peter 2:11 - 22 gives us some guidance on how to live godly lives in a pagan society - we should abstain from sinful desires, and live good lives among the pagans. We should submit ourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority. We should do good to others.

Here is the message 'Purity In A Wicked Age' by David Wilkerson

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